NSW is lagging in the clean-energy revolution that is sweeping the rest of the country and the world.
Most electricity in NSW is supplied by five coal-fired power stations, all within 170 km of Sydney. They emit millions of tonnes of toxic air pollution and greenhouse gasses every year, and their ageing technology threatens the reliability of the grid.
A different future is needed. Unprecedented heatwaves and lengthening bushfire seasons are threatening communities and nature. Only by tackling pollution can we bring our climate back into balance. Meanwhile our coal and gas-fuelled system is becoming unaffordable. Gas exporters have driven up domestic prices, coal plants are reaching the end of their lives, and political point-scoring is holding up investment in new sources of energy.
NSW has the makings of a clean-energy superpower. The state has world-class solar and wind resources in abundance. In just two days, NSW receives enough wind and sunshine to power all our homes, businesses and industry for a year.
But it won’t be the centralised system of the past. Electricity generation will occur on the rooftops of millions of homes, and on wind and solar farms spread across the state’s regions.
This report synthesizes the results of dozens of comprehensive studies to describe the current state of NSW’s clean-energy industry, the pathway to 100% clean energy, and the benefits that will flow to regional NSW.
From cutting our household power bills and climate pollution, to creating jobs and investment in regional towns, to community funds and drought-proof income for farmers, the clean-energy transition has much to offer the people of NSW.
But the transition will not happen as quickly and as fairly as we need without leadership from the NSW Government. Clean energy should benefit everyone in NSW, from coaldependent communities to pensioners and renters.
It’s time for NSW to embrace clean energy to achieve the energy trifecta: cleaner, cheaper, more reliable electricity.